Huge Hurricane Florence Looms Large in New Views from Space

Image from the Bermuda Weather Service

National Hurricane Center's latest report shows Hurricane Florence has intensified into category 4 hurricane on Monday.

Florence was 575 miles (925 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and the center of the hurricane was forecast to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, the NHC said.

The center of Florence was forecast to sweep between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before making its assault on the USA coast.

The massive hurricane poses a serious threat as it barrels toward a landfall somewhere along the East Coast on Thursday.

A surge in the waters off the New England coast is expected to begin as soon as tomorrow, and could lead to some especially high tides and unsafe rip currents, Simpson says, but that's about it.

Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the southeastern U.S.as "a large and extremely risky hurricane", the National Hurricane Center says, after the storm quickly strengthened on Monday.

In a statement the centre said: "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday".

Historically, 90% of fatalities from hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions have been caused by water, said NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.

Florence was "rapidly strengthening", with maximum sustained winds increased to 105 miles per hour, making it a Category 2 storm, the second-weakest on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

Mike Sprayberry, director of the state Division of Emergency Management, said the storm could have statewide impacts, from storm surge and high winds along the coast to flooding inland.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said Sunday he was asking President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration in anticipation of "significant impacts not only on our state but the entire east coast".

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference.

While Helene's outlook calls for it to head into the open Atlantic, Isaac will probably hit the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles Islands Thursday and potentially brush Puerto Rico, still recovering from last year's Maria, as a strong tropical storm later.

Camp Lejeune has an extensive beachfront about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and it's well within the National Hurricane Center's forecast "cone".

Winds could reach upwards of 150 miles per hour with catastrophic flooding.

It warned the storm would be "an extremely risky major hurricane" by the time it made landfall, forecast in the Carolinas on Thursday.

"We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit", Cooper said during a press conference outlining the state's preparations.

This is a life-threatening situation for those along the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia coastlines.

Hurricane Florence is now at a Category 4.

Follow Mike Masco on social media for the latest updates on Hurricane Florence.

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